Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

From tutors to teachers: How working in university writing centers informs public school teaching experiences
by Rothrock, Teresa J., Ph.D., The University of Oklahoma, 2008, 203; 3310982
Abstract (Summary)

Secondary language arts teachers face a full plate, teaching literacy skills. Most of them have similar undergraduate education within accredited teacher preparation programs. However, one small population has a unique experience worth studying—those who also worked as writing center tutors. This phenomenological study, which comes from autobiographical subjectivity, follows scientific guidelines set out by Moustakas (1994), and explores reality of the lived experiences as manifested through oral and written language (Merleau-Ponty, 1953/1963). The governing research question asks, What can we learn from secondary language arts teachers who worked as undergraduate writing center tutors that can inform English education programs?

The selection process for this study led to a constructivist writing center at a rural, regional university. Participants were selected according to specific criteria, requiring that they have worked as a tutor for at least two semesters; completed the teacher education program; and taught secondary language arts between two and ten years. Through extensive interviews, emergent themes showed how writing center experiences served as a bridge between the English and education disciplines, as a community of professionals, and as a core to their professional identities. Though not all preservice teachers can work as writing center tutors, English education programs can incorporate elements of that training in an effort to expand the repertoire of writing teachers. And, we can keep studying the phenomenon.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Angelotti, Michael
Commitee: Chiodo, John, Houser, Neil, Letcher, Mark, Vaughn, Courtney
School: The University of Oklahoma
Department: Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: DAI-A 69/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Teacher education, Rhetoric, Composition
Keywords: Teacher training, Tutors, University, Writing center, Writing centers, Writing instruction
Publication Number: 3310982
ISBN: 978-0-549-60337-5
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